My day began at 5:25am. As of yet, I have not stopped. For today marks the beginning of Santa’s Christmas shift as he makes his merry way down to the Westcountry in the guise of a knackered and cold-filled, Unyoung Mum.
With Harry deposited in nursery, I drew breath in Starbucks and aided by a Gingerbread Latte and porridge (“jam with your porridge?” – err, no, the seven spoonfuls of sugar in the coffee syrup and cream on top should suffice) I made my list of all I needed to do. There was enough on there to rival the Dead Sea scrolls.
Three nights. Two full days. And umpteen family members to see and bestow gifts and cards upon. Westcountry – we are coming for you. The journey will be long, arduous and laden with fifty mph zones where despite miles of traffic cones, there has been not a workman sighted since we last drove the M4 in August. The diet will be out the window as we pub lunch it and enjoy the bountiful hospitality of Aunty Carol. And the Wriggles will no doubt not sleep, being in his travel cot.
One of the biggest challenges of living away from family is trying to condense as much in to one visit as possible, to ensure they all feel a bit of Harry love. Some serious miles will be covered but it is worth it. We must add in to the equation that hubby needs to catch up with his best mate. That of course entails spending the entire day Saturday driving to Swansea to play his new golf course, whilst I spend time with his mum. However, as he just let me go really wild on the Bobbi Brown Black Friday sale (no limit set – foooool) I’m not one to complain. Much.
So the bags are packed, the kitchen is clean, the washing is done, the Christmas cards are written, the presents are collected and wrapped, the cat care is sorted, even the damned sofa cushion covers are washed and dried… We are ready to road trip baby. Three hours of Thomas the Tank Engine in my ear if little man refuses to sleep and three hours of being blinded by cars with ridiculously bright headlights – is it really necessary on a lit motorway people?!
This week’s Freedom Friday top three are plain and simply, things I love about the West Country (being bred in the fine county of Devon)
- The Sea. I grew up with some of the best beaches the UK has to offer on my doorstep. Hours and hours were whiled away with my dad in the summer, getting suntanned and sandblasted. From the MIL’s house we have an outstanding view of the Bristol Channel and the Severn Crossing suspension bridge. I could sit and stare at the tide coming in and out all day. In fact, with her there to entertain Wriggles I just might. With a hot cup of tea. Get in!
- Pasties. God’s food. Yes, they originate from Cornwall and may have had PGI status since 2011 but until you’ve tried an Ivor Dewdney’s from Plymouth, you’ve frankly not lived. Get in my belly. My proper Devon Nan used to make a mean little blighter.
- The Moors. We won’t make it to Dartmoor this time but nothing beats wading through bracken, getting lost in a bog and unspoilt, stunning views for 360 degrees.
With these delights waiting for me, may the M25 be kind, may the Wrigglet sleep and may Christopher offer to do the driving. Have a wonderful weekend folks.